PICO PV STORY

Standards stakeholders in the country have been encouraged to participate in the formulation of standards by providing comments since they are the main users of those technical documents.

One of the participants of the workshop airs his comments during discussion and way forward session of the one-day workshop on the implementation of Pico PV standards held at Tanzania Bureau of Standa

Get involved in standards formulation — Stakeholders told

By David Mtei

Standards stakeholders in the country have been encouraged to participate in the formulation of standards by providing comments since they are the main users of those technical documents.

Director of Standards Development Ms Edna Ndumbaro made the remarks recently during the opening of a one-day workshop on the implementation of Pico PV standards held at Tanzania Bureau of Standards head offices in Dar es Salaam.

Pico PV is defined as a small photovoltaic system with a power output of 1 to 10W, mainly used for lighting. It can replace unhealthy and inefficient sources of light such as kerosene lamps and candles.

Speaking at the workshop Ms Ndumbaro said that it was still a challenge to standards stakeholders as most of them do not follow standardization works.

“Stakeholders of standards are highly encouraged to participate in the process of formulating standards since they are the rightful owners and users of the documents…standards are basically developed by stakeholders through technical committees comprised of experts from the manufacturing industry, consumer associations, regulators and members from higher learning institutions,” she elaborated.

She added that participation of the stakeholders in the formulation of standards will ensure inclusivity of stakeholders and the public at large and therefore give meaning to the true purpose of standardization which is to facilitate trade.

Tanzania Bureau of Standards used the platform to introduce two mandatory national standards for Pico PV products which are TZS 1951-9-5 and TZS 1952 to enable effective implementation and enforcement among key stakeholders in the solar industry.

The introduction of the two mandatory national standards means that all solar lantern and related lighting products manufactured or imported to Tanzania should conform to the requirements of those standards.

“The introduced standards highlight key quality parameters for off-grid products, truth in advertising, durability, system quality, lumen maintainance and warranty,” Ms Ndumbaro noted.

The TBS head of standards development asserted that having national standards for Pico sola products is one thing and to enforce such standards is another thing. She assured the public that the standards watchdog will continue monitoring conformance of off-grid products through surveillance inspections.

She further highlighted that the current business transactions in the world preference is given to organizations that supply quality verified goods and services, solar products included. Thus, many organizations around the world are having their products quality verified in recognition of the importance of providing products and services of consistent quality.

She congratulated the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank Group through their Lighting Africa/Tanzania Program for their dedication and commitment to quality of solar off-grid products.

For his part IFC - Lighting Africa/Tanzania Program Manager Mr Andrew Mnzava thanked TBS for cooperation and support in the implementation of the program in the country.

“We would like to appreciate the support and cooperation by the TBS leadership and Technical Committees…,” he expressed.

According to him, the program works with business men who sale quality Pico PV products since its main target is to ensure quality of the products.

Presenting a report on market trends of the Pico PV products in the Tanzania market, Samuel Muthoka said that total solar penetration in Tanzania stands at 74 % with Singida having the highest penetration of 87 % as compared to other regions. 

According to the study, higher penetration of solar solutions in Singida is influenced by the fact that most households/areas in the region are not connected to grid electricity.


The study shows that in order to widen associate products base to increase market share through the trade consumer education is the key to address market spoilage, there is a need for trader education as only 27 % of traders can tell the difference between a genuine and counterfeit product.

The report also reveals that financing of solar traders virtually non-existent at 4 % need to bring in financiers to support trade.

The study also shows that Faint light from the solar products is one of the greatest challenge that more than quarter 43 % of the households surveyed faced when using the solar products, 30 % said that the panel fails to charge at times while 25 % revealed that the light from the product lasts for a very short time.

However, the study highlights the proposed solutions to scaling up the solar market in the country as about 6 retailers in 10 retailers feel that aggressive consumer education on availability of quality products is the most important thing that can be done to scale up the solar lighting market in the country. But also, with counterfeits being a large problem in the market, there is retailer plea for curbing the entry of those products into the market.


For More information click the link below

PICO_PV_STORY.pdf